ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS – HOW TO HAVE END OF LIFE CONVERSATIONS


When should end of life conversations occur? How to start end of life conversations? How to talk about end of life decisions? How do I talk about end of life planning? Or end of life arrangements? What happens if you become Incapacitated? What happens if you become Incapacitated without a Power of Attorney? Conversations about Elder Care or other end-of-life issues are especially difficult because it feels as if the parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent.

Conversations revolving around illness or death are not easily broached by anyone. We tend to avoid these topics because we live in the present. No one ever plans on tragedy striking, and facing our own mortality can leave us feeling an array of uncomfortable emotions.

Over 80 percent of Americans will face a period of sustained disability before their deaths. That is a staggering statistic. Most of those Americans have not had the necessary, albeit difficult, conversations regarding their end of life wishes. Even those who have a “Last Will and Testament” are not protected from fraud, predators, or creditors.

If you want a say in your own plans, if you are a caregiver for someone with a terminal illness or disability, or if you are worried about your aging parents, these conversations are necessary to establish a plan.

The AARP states, “More than 90 percent of people think that it is important to have conversations about end-of-life care with their loved ones, yet less than 30 percent have done so. Similarly, 70 percent of people say they want to die at home, but in reality, 70 percent die in hospitals or institutions.” That is a large percentage of the population that are neglecting the opportunity to have their wishes clearly communicated, alleviating emotional hardship and legal complications when the need arises.

How to Have End of Life Discussions: End of Life Decisions for Elderly. What You Need to Ask:

  • Are there any current health or illness issues?
  • Who do you want involved in making your end of life decisions? This is especially important as you don’t want your spouse or children fighting or forced to make decisions without knowing what you would want.
  • What specific kinds of care would you like?
  • At what point would you like care to stop?
  • Do you have funeral arrangements or preferences?
  • Financially, do you have any savings set away for end of life care or arrangements?

This is just the tip of the iceberg which is why you can enlist support in making these decisions. An Estate Planning Attorney can help you navigate all these questions and more. Your attorney will take into account the relationship between you and your loved ones, how you would like your assets distributed after your death, and they can assist you in creating a customized plan that includes all of the necessary documents to carry out your wishes such as a Durable Power of Attorney, Living Trust, and Advanced Healthcare Directives.

What Do We Do as California Estate Planning Attorney Specialists?

The lawyers and staff at CunninghamLegal help people plan for some of the most difficult times in their lives; then we guide them when those times come.

Make an appointment to meet with CunninghamLegal for California Estate Planning and Trust Administration. We have offices throughout California, and we offer in-person, phone, and Zoom appointments. Just call (866) 988-3956 or book an appointment online.

Please also consider joining one of our free online Estate Planning Webinars.

We look forward to working with you!

Best, Jim

James Cunningham Jr., Esq.

Founder, CunninghamLegal

 

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